Adorable French Bulldog Named Peewee Helps Patients Relax During Dental Procedures
A recent patient at Smile On Nashville, the dental office run by Jeff Trembley, DDS, needed extensive work, a "full-smile makeover" that would take three to four hours. That's an eternity to sit with all manner of tools in your mouth, especially if you're awake the entire time.
"[The patient] ultimately declined [sedation] because of the cost," Trembley tells Daily Paws. "But we put Peewee on her [and] she was actually proud of herself for being able to relax. She let us treat her and it was all because of Peewee."
Peewee is Trembley's 2-year-old Frenchie, his very special assistant who helps patients find comfort in one of the most uncomfortable places—the dentist's office.
When Trembley first got Peewee, he began bringing the then-6-month-old pup into the office rather than leaving him home alone all day. However, the tiny French bulldog would cry when left in Trembley's office alone and clearly enjoyed being out among the staff and patients. Eventually, Trembley built Peewee a tower behind the reception desk, where he could observe the office comings and goings every day. But the dentist, who specializes in cosmetic dentistry, quickly realized the little pupper could serve a more important purpose alongside him as he worked to improve the smiles of his patients.
"Patients would see Peewee and they started asking if he could sit with them," Trembley says. "And now, I've got people every hour, looking for Peewee."
For some, dental visits can be an experience that's fraught with anxiety. Many dental offices have employed a slew of distraction and calming techniques, from playing music to decorating with soothing images on the ceiling. All these efforts are designed to help keep patients as relaxed as possible. In that regard, Trembley sees Peewee as his ace in the hole.
Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response—Peewee's days are often booked solid as he sits with patients during dental procedures—Trembley began posting videos of Peewee on the job to Smile On Nashville's TikTok account. A recent video of Peewee laying on a patient's chest has garnered more than 2.5 million views and 3,000 comments as of this writing, making Peewee a star.
"With this most recent TikTok, probably 80 percent of [comments] say, 'Every dentist should have a [dog] like this,'" Trembley says. "We've had patients book their first appointments because of it."
And it seems like patients aren't the only ones who enjoy Peewee's company in the office. "I started an Employee of the Month program a couple of months ago," Trembley continues. "Peewee always wins."